Lesson III-14: The Thai Green Peafowl
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 5 through adult.
Most people have seen Indian peafowl, the kind commonly raised in the United States, so you likely already know about the gorgeous tail that the peacock displays. It’s pretty huge, measuring 3’ from beak to tail. However, the Thai green peafowl makes the more common Indian peafowl seem . . . well, . . just plain common. The green peafowl measures about 3 times the length of the Indian peacock, and both the hen and cock display magnificent, enormous tails. The Sudaluc Furniture factory in Chiang Mai, Thailand, produces some of the best Asian wood carvings, and we were happy to discover a complex version of the peafowl carved in teakwood.
This art lesson uses the carving as inspiration for a scratch art project. You will learn to create your own scratch art paper and will draw an original design of the green peafowl onto the paper you have made. Along the way you’ll learn to use important art principles like balance and emphasis.
This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson, plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the peafowl.
List of Supplies for Each Student:
- A printout of the warm-up (included in the lesson)
- A fine tipped black magic marker
- A set of oil pastels
- A pencil
- A sheet of drawing paper, 8 1/2” x 11” or 11” x 15”
- A 6’ x 6” piece of paper
- A paint palette
- Black acrylic paint (do not use tempera paint)
- Tools for scratch art (you can buy these or use common household objects
- 1” wide flat watercolor brush
- A drop of liquid detergent
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:
- Information about Asian wood carving.
- Victorinox Swiss Army® Knife Whittling Book: 43 Easy Projects (Fox Chapel Publishing) Step-by-Step Instructions to Carve Useful & Whimsical Objects with Just an Original Swiss Army® Knife & a Twig.
- Carving for Kids: An Introduction to Woodcarving.
- Soap Carving: For Children of All Ages. Soap carving is an easy way for beginners to learn the art of carving. If you want to learn to carve things, this is the easiest place to start.
- All About Thailand: Stories, Songs, Crafts and Games for Kids. Travel with two children from Thailand as they explore their land—experience its fascinating wildlife, beautiful handcrafts, sports, games, celebrations and, of course—great Thai food. A 2017 Creative Child Magazine Book of the Year Award Winner.
- Kids' Travel Guides - Thailand. Kids will enjoy fascinating facts, fun activities, useful tips, quizzes, and Leonardo, their tour guide.
- Thai For Kids Pictionary Begin to learn the Thai language.
- Tua and the Elephant. Read a chapter book about Thailand.
- Inside Out and Back Again. A Newbery Honor Book and winner of the National Book Award about a Inspired by the author's childhood experience as a refugee—fleeing Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama. While this is NOT about Thailand, it is a story of SE Asia and is appropriate for readers age 8-12.
The Green Peafowl:
- Learn about the Thai green peafowl from a person who loves to photograph them in the wild.
- Read the children's picture book, The Rainbow Peacock.
- Read The Green Peafowl, an Endangered Bird.
Approximate Time to Complete the Lesson:
- Creating the scratch art paper: 30 minutes
- Drawing the picture: 30-45 minutes